It’s so hard to believe that in one month and five days I’ll be headed back to America. The time went by a lot faster than I expected it too. I feel like I woke up one day and all of a sudden it was November. Whenever I get homesick or start comparing food or culture in Rome, I always have to remind myself that probably about a week after I get back I’ll want to come back. I would say that the biggest challenge when studying abroad is definitely dealing with the stress of actually having to do work, but not really doing anything about it because you’re in such a beautiful country. It really is a weird feeling to have; I don’t think I’ve ever been more torn about school work before. Trying to fit in seeing all of Rome this semester while dealing with the very depressing reality that I’m still a student with responsibilities is pretty difficult.
After hours of researching and studying, if I’m still feeling overwhelmed, I like to get out in the city and just explore. I really enjoy getting off at the Flaminio metro stop and walk through the arch to Piazza Del Popolo. Piazza Del Popolo is amazing because it’s not in the center of the city and it’s crowded, but not completely overwhelmed by tourists. In the center is a huge obelisk that serves as a center point for the Piazza. Via Del Corso is a highly popular street that connects the Piazza with the National Monument to Victor Emmanuel. Via Del Corso is a very touristy shopping area, but it’s still a pleasant walk that lets you see a large part of Rome.
Another thing I like about the area is that it is so close to the Villa Borghese. The entrance can be seen from the entrance of Piazza Del Popolo. These attractions, combined with the multiple bars and pizzerias make it very easy for me to spend a whole day in just that one area. Overall, the area around the Flaminio stop is a great place to spend my weekends. Though both areas are extremely popular, it does not have the chaotic feeling of walking around the Pantheon or the Colosseum.
As far as routines go, I am lucky that I get the chance to walk by the Piazza and Villa Borghese as I get off the metro and walk to class. I get the feeling that people who usually spend their time on the outskirts of Piazza Del Popolo are very business-like and work oriented. Almost all the buildings I walk by on the way to school are office buildings, and most people are wearing suits just like in any other city. It makes me feel like I’m actually living in Rome, as opposed to just staying near the touristy areas. I think the most interesting thing about Rome is that there is an exquisite combination of antique and historical monuments within a modern city. Coming from Chicago, it’s such a change to not see just office buildings everywhere, but thousand year old arches across the street from one.